A view of Indian Parliament
A view of Indian Parliament

RS panel calls for mandatory apps to regulate children's access to pornography content

ANI | Updated: Jan 25, 2020 23:56 IST

New Delhi [India], Jan 25 (ANI): The Adhoc Committee of the Rajya instituted by Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu has made 40 far-reaching recommendations to prevent sexual abuse of children and contain access to and transmission of child pornography content on the social media.
An official release said the report of the Committee was today presented by the chairman of the committee Jairam Ramesh to the Vice President
Expressing concern over the seriousness of the prevalence of horrific social evil of child pornography, the Committee has recommended important amendments to the Protection of Children From Sexual Offences Act, 2012 and the Information Technology Act, 2000 besides technological, institutional, social and educational measures and state-level initiatives to address the alarming issue of pornography on social media and its effects on children and the society as a whole.
The 40 recommendations made by the Adhoc Committee relate to adoption of a broader definition of child pornography, controlling access for children to such content, containing generation and dissemination of Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM), making accountable the Internet Service Providers and online platforms for denying access to children and removing such obscene content from online sites.
It has also recommended monitoring, detection and removal of content, preventing under-age use of such content, enabling effective action by the governments and authorized agencies to take necessary preventive and penal measures.
Noting that the purveyors of child pornography seem always to be one step ahead of regulators, the Committee stressed the need for implementation of its recommendations as an integrated package of measures and not piecemeal to have any value and impact.
The Committee urged the Prime Minister to take up the subject of child pornography and the measures required to combat it in one of his forthcoming 'Man Ki Baat' broadcast, besides taking the lead in building up a global political alliance to combat child pornography on social media like the International Solar Alliance initiative.
The committee has broadly sought to address two main issues - access of children to pornographic material on social media and circulation of pornographic material on social media in which children are abused.
The Committee has recommended amendments to the POCSO Act, 2012 and the IT Act, 2000 with corresponding changes to be carried out in the Indian Penal Code;
It has recommended a new section be included in the IT Act 2000, providing for punitive measures for those providing pornographic access to children and also those who access, produce or transmit Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM).
It has recommended that law enforcement agencies be permitted to brake end-to-end encryption to trace distributors of child pornography.
Apps that help in monitoring children's access to pornographic content shall be made mandatory on all devices sold in India.
The panel recommended that the Ministry of Electronics and IT and Ministry of Home Affairs shall coordinate with Blockchain analysis companies to trace identities of users engaging in cryptocurrency transactions to purchase child pornography online.
The Committee recommended an upgraded and technologically empowered National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) to be designated as the nodal agency to deal with the issue of child pornography. NCPCR should have the necessary technological, cyber policing and prosecution capabilities.
The committee recommended that each state and Union Territory shall have empowered state commission for the protection for child rights mirroring capabilities and capacities of the NCPCR.
The 14-member Committee including 7 women members of Rajya Sabha was set up by Naidu on December 12 last year after members voiced concern over widespread misuse of social media for accessing pornographic content and child abuse. (ANI)